U.S. Annual Trade Deficit in 2018

The U.S. trade deficit in 2018 was $621.0 billion, up $68.8 billion from $552.3 billion in 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, as imports increased more than exports. Exports were $2,500.0 billion in 2018, up $148.9 billion from 2017. Imports were $3,121.0 billion, up $217.7 billion from 2017. The 2018 increase in the goods and services deficit reflected an increase in the goods deficit of $83.8 billion, or 10.4 percent, to $891.3 billion and an increase in the services surplus of $15.0 billion, or 5.9 percent, to $270.2 billion.

White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett a href=”https://www.wsj.com/articles/december-2018-trade-data-from-u-s-commerce-department-11551877494″ target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>said the wider trade deficit is to be expected when the U.S. economy is growing faster than the rest of the world, as people with higher incomes in the U.S. buy more imported goods. The president is right to try to improve trade deals, and a short-term fluctuation in the trade deficit doesn’t change that.

Exports

Exports of goods increased $118.5 billion to $1,671.8 billion in 2018.

Industrial supplies and materials increased $74.2 billion.
Crude oil increased $24.6 billion.
Other petroleum products increased $14.4 billion.
Capital goods increased $28.7 billion.
Civilian aircraft engines increased $7.9 billion.
Other industrial machines increased $2.9 billion.
Computer accessories increased $2.5 billion.
Net balance of payments adjustments increased $0.6 billion.

Exports of services increased $30.4 billion to $828.1 billion in 2018.

Other business services, which includes research and development services; professional and management services; and technical, trade-related, and other services, increased $8.5 billion.
Financial services increased $4.6 billion.
Travel (for all purposes including education) increased $4.3 billion.

Imports

Imports of goods increased $202.2 billion to $2,563.1 billion in 2018.

Industrial supplies and materials increased $68.4 billion.
Crude oil increased $24.6 billion.
Capital goods increased $52.7 billion.
Computers increased $8.7 billion.
Electric apparatus increased $5.4 billion.
Computer accessories increased $5.4 billion.
Other industrial machines increased $5.1 billion.
Consumer goods increased $46.1 billion.
Pharmaceutical preparations increased $23.7 billion.

Imports of services increased $15.4 billion to $557.9 billion in 2018.

Travel (for all purposes including education) increased $10.1 billion.
Other business services increased $7.0 billion.
Transport increased $6.5 billion.
Insurance services decreased $13.0 billion.

Goods by Selected Countries and Areas – Census Basis

The 2018 figures show surpluses, in billions of dollars, with South and Central America ($41.5), Hong Kong ($31.1), Netherlands ($24.8), Australia ($15.2), and Belgium ($14.2). Deficits were recorded, in billions of dollars, with China ($419.2), European Union ($169.3), Mexico ($81.5), Germany ($68.3), Japan ($67.6), Ireland ($46.8), Italy ($31.6), Malaysia ($26.5), India ($21.3), OPEC ($21.2), Canada ($19.8), Thailand ($19.3), Switzerland ($18.9), South Korea ($17.9), France ($16.2), Taiwan ($15.5), Russia ($14.1), Indonesia ($12.6), and Saudi Arabia ($10.5).

The deficit with China increased $43.6 billion to $419.2 billion in 2018. Exports decreased $9.6 billion to $120.3 billion and imports increased $34.0 billion to $539.5 billion.

The deficit with the European Union increased $17.9 billion to $169.3 billion in 2018. Exports increased $35.4 billion to $318.6 billion and imports increased $53.3 billion to $487.9 billion.

The surplus with South and Central America increased $7.3 billion to $41.5 billion in 2018. Exports increased $13.6 billion to $163.8 billion and imports increased $6.3 billion to $122.3 billion.

The full report is available on BEA’s Web site at www.bea.gov